Barrier Style Panel in Sego Canyon  

Sego Canyon
Rock Art & Ghost Town

          Sego Canyon is a great adventure the entire family will enjoy. The canyon contains rock art from three different Native American cultures and a very well preserved ghost town. The company store and a boarding house still partially stand in the center of town. There are ruins to many houses scattered through out the canyon along with remnants of the coal mine.

General Information:
Click Here for Map           This is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. This wonderful rock art and historic ghost town can be viewed as a short side trip from Interstate 70 near Green River Utah. Plan to spend about 2 hours to visit both the rock art and ghost town combined with a little exploring on your own.

          Navigation for this route is easy and all sites can be accessed with the family passenger vehicle in good weather conditions. GPS waypoints are provided for those who like to play with their electronic toys. There is nothing difficult about the route. The USGS 7.5' Map titled "Sego Canyon" shows the area. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum.

Fremont Style Panel in Sego Canyon Ute historic panel in Sego Canyon

Ute Historic Panel:
          This panel is probably from the 19th century. The panel contains white men, horses, buffalo and shields. Unfortunately, this panel has been vandalized.

Fremont Style Panel:
          This panel shows a hunter, life size human figures, mountain sheep and geometric designs. This rock art is similar to the petroglyphs found in
Nine Mile Canyon.

Barrier Style Panel:
          In addition to many smaller figures, the panel contains about ten life size human shapes, most have a strange mummy-like appearance. They lack arms or legs, and often have huge insect-like eyes and skull-shaped heads. This panel is similar to the famous Grand Gallery found in
Horseshoe Canyon.

Additional Panels:
          If you look directly across the canyon from the Barrier Style Panel you can see two additional panels located just above the horse corral. The panel to the right contains several Barrier Style pictographs. The panel to the left contains several petroglyphs and gringo-glyphs.

Barrier Style Panel in Sego Canyon Company store in Sego Canyon

Ghost Town History:
          Sego has a history unlike most ghost towns in Utah. Its history is surrounded by coal and not gold or silver. A rancher named Harry Ballard made the discovery in the early 1890s. Ballard bought the land surrounding his find and started operations on a small scale. In 1911, Ballard sold the mine to a group of Salt Lake City investors. Production started with grand plans for a long and prosperous run of coal production. The new owners built a store, a boarding house and other buildings all with their own water supply. Trouble started almost immediately when the water supply started to dry up. There were other problems as well, all of which contributed to little or no profit for the investors. Some miners were not paid for as long as a year but received script, which enabled them to buy food and other necessities for their families from the company store. In 1933, the miners agreed to become members of the United Mineworkers Union. On November 1,1947, the mine was closed and the property sold at auction.

Old boarding house in Sego Canyon Old house in Sego Canyon

Boot Hill:
          This adventure is not complete without stopping at Boot Hill (the old cemetery). Check out the headstone on the grave in the southwest corner for an intriguing surprise that will leave you wondering.

Old railroad in Sego Canyon Dugout in Sego Canyon

          From Green River Utah drive 25 miles east on I-70. Take exit 187 and drive north on the main road through the town of Thompson. The three rock art panels are located 3 1/2 miles north of Thompson. The road is paved to the pictographs and petroglyphs (N39 01' 05", W109 42' 37"). The site is protected by a wooden fence and has a small parking lot complete with information plaques, picnic tables and vault toilet.

          To reach the Ghost Town of Sego drive 0.5 miles further up canyon on a maintained gravel road until you reach a fork in the road (N39 01' 29", W109 42' 47"). Turn east (right) at the signed turn-off to Sego Canyon. The cemetery is seen immediately to the right (N39 01' 25", W109 42' 39"). Keep heading up the road 0.8 miles, and the ghost town should come into view (N39 02' 02", W109 42' 12").. The town site is on private property, you are welcome to drive up and see the ruins. Just respect the land and structures.

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